Practicing Gratitude Can Benefit Health, and Other News

Girl standing outside with her arms outstretchedThanksgiving provides a prime opportunity to express gratitude, and research consistently points to the health benefits of gratitude.

Couples who show gratitude to each other report happier relationships and greater closeness. People who maintain gratitude journals are happier, and grateful people may be better equipped to bounce back from trauma. Gratitude may even reduce visits to the doctor.

You do not need the Thanksgiving holiday to express gratitude, but the day can serve as a helpful reminder of the importance of gratefulness.

Loneliness Alters the Immune System to Cause Illness, Study Finds

A number of studies suggest loneliness is bad for physical and mental health, but up until now, researchers have not understood why. New research shows loneliness may change gene expression, triggering inflammation and reducing the activity of genes involved in fighting viruses. This may lead to an increase in susceptibility to illness.

Feds to Require Shelters to Accommodate Transgender Individuals

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has submitted a proposed rule that would require shelters to accommodate transgender individuals’ gender identities. The proposal is a follow-up to the Agency’s 2012 Equal Access Rule for transgender peple who live in public housing. The proposed regulation would allow transgender individuals to use the sleeping and bathing areas of their choice.

Improving Fitness May Combat Brain Atrophy in Older Adults, Study Shows

Exercising with a moderate level of intensity may help delay, and potentially even reverse, brain damage in seniors. Seniors who participated in an activity program saw increased thickness in the brain’s cortex. This outer layer of the brain typically atrophies with Alzheimer’s. In the study, both healthy adults and those with mild cognitive impairment—which often precedes Alzheimer’s—benefited from regular activity.

The Psychology Behind Why We Love Black Friday

Black Friday can bring mayhem to shoppers and retail stores, but a few psychological insights can help explain the phenomenon. The combination of competing for bargains and bringing home items to provide for families are, according to this opinion piece, major drivers of the Black Friday rush.

Do Terrorists Share the Same Psychological Traits?

Psychologists have tried to determine what causes terrorism for decades, but as this video explains, terrorism is probably not the result of a single mental health issue or personality trait. Instead, the phenomenon may be the result of interactions between circumstance—such as poverty or living in a war-torn region—and personality traits such as religious fervor.

NYU Study Finds Adults Aged 50-59 Now Largest Age Group in Opioid Treatment Programs

Opioids such as heroin are no longer the domain of young people, according to a New York University study. Instead, researchers found adults ages 50-59 made up almost 36% of participants in opioid treatment programs—up from 8% in 1996. Opioid use has increased among this age group, and older adults may use opioids at higher rates than other groups. However, because the sample size was small and use of treatment is not necessarily an indication of addiction rates, the study’s authors caution that more research is necessary.

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  • Genevieve

    Genevieve

    November 27th, 2015 at 12:49 PM

    Maintaining a steady fitness routine is important all throughout our lives

  • Breezy

    Breezy

    November 27th, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    I always try to be the most open minded that I can be but I still think that I might have a hard time sharing shower and bathroom space with a transgender person that I did not know.
    I think that it would be totally different if you really knew the person and knew that they were legit in how they said that they actually feel, then fine I can accept that.
    But how would I know that a person wasn’t just using that as an excuse? Especially if I did not know them? I think that there have to be some guidelines that would protect people in shelters to not have to feel that kind of discomfort.

  • Norm

    Norm

    November 28th, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    I try my very best every day to remind myself of all of the blessings that I have in my life and not to focus on all of the things that I simply “want”.

  • Grayson

    Grayson

    November 29th, 2015 at 7:16 AM

    With terrorists while I don’t think that their mind is altered due to anything psychological, I just think that they have been brainwashed and radicalized by those with religious fervor and they have bought into it. Now for me this says that you are crazy if you start buying into all of that, but I know that it goes much deeper than that. It is an ideology or a spirit that cannot be easily broken once embedded.

  • christy

    christy

    November 29th, 2015 at 1:33 PM

    I love shopping on Black Friday! I just like being in the hustle and bustle, it gets me ready for the Christmas season.

  • Kelsea

    Kelsea

    November 30th, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    I do believe that being lonely can have a huge detrimental effect on your overall health.

    My grandmother was always very healthy until Pops died a few months ago and she has steadily gone downhill since then. It’s very sad to see her this way and to come to understand that I really think that she is dying from a broken heart over losing him.

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